Determining Eligibility for Immigration Benefits for Dependent Spouse or Partner: Same Sex Couples

Moving to another nation is probably life’s greatest occasion. Whether one is migrating to take up a brief work task, or for all time moving, one’s mate (or soul mate) is regularly fundamental for the situation and will frequently assume an essential supporting part simultaneously. It is, along these lines, fundamental to guarantee ahead of time that the movement laws of the country being referred to perceive this significant person as a legitimate “mate” for migration or visa purposes.

The United States presently takes a thin view on the meaning of a companion for migration purposes. The consequence of this is that companions and accomplices in numerous normal kinds of relationships and connections are qualified uniquely for restricted – if any – migration benefits. In this article, we survey the measures utilized by the United States government to decide if it will perceive a mate for movement purposes, as well as how said models applies to a few conjugal circumstances.


US Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and the United States Department of State (“DOS”) both apply a three-prong test to evaluate the legitimacy of a marriage for migration purposes. The accompanying three-prong test is applied both in surveying qualification for a subordinate non-outsider visa (e.g., L2 visa, E2 visa, H4 visa, and so forth) or a migrant visa, as well as in issues of family-based sponsorship by a United States Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident:

Prong 1: Was the marriage substantial in the spot of festivity?

USCIS and DOS both appointed authority the legitimacy of the marriage in view of the laws of the spot where the marriage was commended. A marriage that isn’t substantial where it was praised won’t be perceived as a marriage for the reasons for getting migration benefits.

Via model, a marriage in Thailand should be enlisted with the common recorder, the Amphur. A strict service alone doesn’t make a legitimate marriage in Thailand. Hence, albeit a strict function might be adequate to enroll a marriage in specific states in the United States, assuming the marriage that occurred in Thailand was just a strict service, without the necessary common enlistment, the life partner won’t be qualified for United States movement benefits because of the deficiency of the marriage in Thailand.

Conversely, casual and ancestral functions that wouldn’t ascend to the custom ordinarily expected to enlist a marriage in the United States might fit the bill for movement benefits assuming the services meet each of the legitimate necessities to be substantial in the nation performed. This component comes up frequently with precedent-based regulation relationships, which are examined later in additional detail.

There might be the valuable chance to fix an invalid marriage and get movement benefits. In an assessment by the General Counsel for the previous Immigration and Nationality Service, presently USCIS, an Iranian mosque marriage that was acted in Turkey was viewed not as legitimate under the laws of Turkey; in any case, a resulting common marriage approved the marriage in Turkey, along these lines delivering the life partner qualified for movement benefits. (See INS General Counsel Legal Opinion No. 91-58, File No. CO831 (July 25, 1991)). Relationships that were already ineligible for United States movement advantages might even be relieved by ensuing regulations in the applicable country that make the beforehand deficient relationships be perceived as substantial in that country.

This approach additionally applies in deciding if an earlier separation was substantial; USCIS and DOS will focus on whether the ensuing remarriage was viewed as legitimate in the ward where it occurred.

Prong 2: Is there a solid public strategy against this sort of marriage in the condition of residence or, for couples who wed abroad, the condition of planned habitation?

USCIS and DOS might decline to perceive a life partner for motivations behind movement benefits in a few excellent conditions when the marriage is in opposition to Australia immigration or ethics, including plural relationships and relationships between direct relations. Every one of these circumstances requires complex investigation and is talked about later in additional detail.

Prong 3: Is the marriage real as characterized by migration regulation?

The United States Congress might endorse a government standard under which certain relationships, albeit legitimate at the spot of festivity, are not perceived for migration benefits. Such government principles likewise negligence and abrogate any open approach in favor or against such relationships in the condition of current or planned home.
The most remarkable of such Congressional guidelines is the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which characterizes marriage as the lawful joining between one man and one lady. Under DOMA, applications for migration benefits in light of a marriage of two people of the equivalent sex have been consistently denied, whether or not the marriage was placed into in a country that lawfully perceives same-sex relationships. DOMA likewise supplants any state regulation concerning migration benefits and limits movement benefits whether or not the equivalent sex couple will be living in a US express that perceives same-sex marriage. Visa choices for same-sex accomplices and life partners are talked about later in additional detail.